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Am I the only on who puts vocalists this close to the mic?
Old 7th April 2003
  #1
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Steve Smith's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Am I the only on who puts vocalists this close to the mic?

Ok, this may be more due to my ****ty sounding live room, but I never like to have the singer more than 8 or 9 inches away from the mic. Maybe I have a proximity fetish? It's just that for 90% of the things I do, I love the sound of the vocalist being inside my head, and the up close thing seems to deliver.. placement gets a bit tricky to avoid pops, but when there is a singer who can work it, I really dig it.

I hear, ( and see) alot of guys who are 2 - 3' away fron the mic, and I have done that at times, but I am allways thinking i am loosing impact.. am I just fooling myself? Is it all those live gigs comeing back to haunt me?
Old 7th April 2003
  #2
Lives for gear
 
pounce's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i do the same thing here. i always thought i could make it sound more intimate that way. and i do like to exploit he proximity effect. works for me, so i'm sticking with it. mic placement is always relevent, so why wouldn't it be relevent here as well?
Old 7th April 2003
  #3
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
I'm usually in the same place you are, though I have had the singers as close as 3 inches, and back as far as 5 feet (both special circumstances). But I also like the sound of my room when the singers are that far back, so it doesn't bother me...
Old 7th April 2003
  #4
Gear Guru
 
thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Re: Am I the only on who puts vocalists this close to the mic?

Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Smith
Ok, this may be more due to my ****ty sounding live room, but I never like to have the singer more than 8 or 9 inches away from the mic. Maybe I have a proximity fetish? It's just that for 90% of the things I do, I love the sound of the vocalist being inside my head, and the up close thing seems to deliver.. placement gets a bit tricky to avoid pops, but when there is a singer who can work it, I really dig it.

I hear, ( and see) alot of guys who are 2 - 3' away fron the mic, and I have done that at times, but I am allways thinking i am loosing impact.. am I just fooling myself? Is it all those live gigs comeing back to haunt me?

The secret is a great room and recording in omni.

The omni pattern will smooth out the proximity effect(as well as the pops).

I generally let the singer stand where they are comfortable(within reason) and just work around that.

Some singers have a problem singing too far away from the mic(more subconscious than anything). They are just used to recording a certain way.
Old 7th April 2003
  #5
Gear Guru
 
thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Re: Re: Am I the only on who puts vocalists this close to the mic?

Quote:
Originally posted by thethrillfactor
The secret is a great room and recording in omni.

The omni pattern will smooth out the proximity effect(as well as the pops).

I generally let the singer stand where they are comfortable(within reason) and just work around that.

Some singers have a problem singing too far away from the mic(more subconscious than anything). They are just used to recording a certain way.
And just to add, I don't like recording with a pop filter either(creates standing waves sometimes)especially in cardioid. This is another reason why recording in omni works better.
Old 8th April 2003
  #6
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I learned from Bob Olhsson's posts that the EV 635a omni can be an excellent vocal microphone. For me, being just a couple inches away gives a very nice intimate vocal sound. Plus it won't pick up
as much of a (poor) room's acoustics as a condenser would.
It also doesn't appear to be as fussy which mic pre you use compared to the SM57.

You can also have a singer hand hold it too-as long as don't drop it, and thereby screw up the top end response.
I seem to remember reading that some of Elvis' early RCA hits
were done with the EV 635a BTW.

Chris
Old 8th April 2003
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
8-9" doesn't seem that close to me. I think of giving the sound room to develop by doing that instead of having the vocalist eat the mic.
I've been using figure 8 mics a lot while tracking vox in a room with live instruments, and things go anywhere from 15" to 9" depending on the amount of proximity effect desired.

I also really like using omnis, mostly to avoid proximity effect when singing 4-6" from the mic.

I always point the mics at the corner of the mouth, often from the side, avoiding all the plosives and silibance, and getting very high intelligibility as that's where the consonants seem to emerge from.

I tend to get the room sound from the bleed onto other instruments- like I said recently most of these vox are going down live with the other instruments in the room.
Old 8th April 2003
  #8
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
I think closer is also a bit of a modern technique ( a little more personal, a litlle more aggressive ) If you look at pictures from the 50's and 60's - those guys are like miles from there 251's. I've got a couple of older cranky AE buddies who complain about how bad a crowded mic sounds on a vocal. Me - if I could get the mic inside the vocalists mouth, and still understand what they were saying - I would.
cheers - dave darling
Old 9th April 2003
  #9
Gear Nut
 
Dynodawg's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have gravitated to the close micing thing for vocals also. I mainly use the Lawson L47MP at 4 to 6", with the pattern in wide cardoid ( 10 o'clock on the multi-pattern dial). The lawson really has a lot of bottom, so I roll everything below 80 or 90Hz and sometimes a 2db, wide Q dip at 170Hz.

I mainly use a V76 pre that has been modified and it can get very bright, so I'm going to move a bit closer to that omni pattern on the mic for a flatter top end and less boom on the low.

I have spent a lot of time trying to get that "in your face" sound and after listening to many of my earlier vocal tracks, I'm definitly getting there.

Dyno
Old 9th April 2003
  #10
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e-cue's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Re: Re: Am I the only on who puts vocalists this close to the mic?

Quote:
Originally posted by thethrillfactor
The secret is a great room and recording in omni.

The omni pattern will smooth out the proximity effect(as well as the pops).
I like both the proximity effect and the pops. I like to let the vocalist work the mic as much as possible. If they suck at it, then I'll move them back a couple more inches and omni away, but I'd say 95% of the time, I put the pop filter about 3 inches from the mic.

I try to move the music stand (if any) as far away from the mic as possible. I hate the reflections.
Old 9th April 2003
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
e-cue: One of those cheap foldable wire music stands is a much better bet for minimizing reflections than the "Manhasset" style ones with a solid metal surface- those are a real hazard.


"I have gravitated to the close micing thing for vocals also. I mainly use the Lawson L47MP at 4 to 6", with the pattern in wide cardoid ( 10 o'clock on the multi-pattern dial). The lawson really has a lot of bottom, so I roll everything below 80 or 90Hz and sometimes a 2db, wide Q dip at 170Hz."

I think you're defeating yourself by intentionally creating a proximity effect by having a cardioid pattern mic that close to the singer, and then rolling off the bottom. I doubt the Lawson, or any mic, will have such an excess of bottom if used in omni. And just backing off from the mic will lose a lot of those lows- that's how the proximity effect works.

My own voice is rather bass heavy, it sounds a bit like some other voices when sloowwwed doowwwnn... So I often use the proximity effect to minimize the bass in my voice by putting the mic far enough away to roll off the lows- the proximity effect goes both ways.

I did a session singing harmonies with a chick singer where I was able to get our voices to blend nicely by exaggerating her chest voice with the proximity effect (mic closer) and minimizing the bass in my own voice (mic further away).
Old 9th April 2003
  #12
Lives for gear
 
e-cue's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Ted Nightshade
e-cue: One of those cheap foldable wire music stands is a much better bet for minimizing reflections than the "Manhasset" style ones with a solid metal surface- those are a real hazard.
Yeah. I wish more commercial studios I work at had them.
Old 9th April 2003
  #13
Gear Nut
 
Dynodawg's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Ted,

I was down in the studio tonight messing with the Lawson at 4" from my mouth and set to omni. I did the 80hz roll also.
then I tried it at 10" cardiod, no roll off. The 4" position was very detailed, punchy and in your face. The 10" position lost all the punch, spit and in your faceness that I'm after. I also like to use a 1176ln with all 4 buttons pushed in to really kick it all forward. Again, It's not the sound for everyone, but it works well for me on the gutsy stuff.

Dyno
Old 9th April 2003
  #14
Gear Guru
 
thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Re: Re: Re: Am I the only on who puts vocalists this close to the mic?

Quote:
Originally posted by e-cue
I like both the proximity effect and the pops. I like to let the vocalist work the mic as much as possible. If they suck at it, then I'll move them back a couple more inches and omni away, but I'd say 95% of the time, I put the pop filter about 3 inches from the mic.

I try to move the music stand (if any) as far away from the mic as possible. I hate the reflections.
In certain cases I understand(especially if its a hand held mic ala SM57 and 58).

In most cases, it makes you waste alot of time mixing the vocal to smooth out the mids and make it natural.

The standing waves created by pop filters to me is too much.

When you take that pop filter away it just opens up the mic.

The problem is if you are working with someone who doesn't have a great mic technique, than you are screwed.
Old 9th April 2003
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
'Ted,

I was down in the studio tonight messing with the Lawson at 4" from my mouth and set to omni. I did the 80hz roll also.
then I tried it at 10" cardiod, no roll off. The 4" position was very detailed, punchy and in your face. The 10" position lost all the punch, spit and in your faceness that I'm after. I also like to use a 1176ln with all 4 buttons pushed in to really kick it all forward. Again, It's not the sound for everyone, but it works well for me on the gutsy stuff.'

Sounds like the Lawson has lotsa bass no matter what you do. BTW, are you using a pop screen? That's gonna lose you some punch, but if you got what you want at 4" wide cardioid- hey! you got whatcha want!
Old 9th April 2003
  #16
Gear Nut
 
Dynodawg's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yes the Lawson has a big bottom and my modified Telefunken V76 makes it even bigger, I am still left with plenty of proximity effect even after a 80hz roll off. I only use the pop filter if I the vocal is full of plosives. I am not running the mic that close in wide cardiod, I'm using the omni position. I make up for the flat top end associated with the omni pattern, with the bright charector of the 1176 compressor.

Dyno
Old 10th April 2003
  #17
Gear Head
 
dstagl's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Maybe I need to get out more, but you guys are the first guys I've ever heard who didn't care for proximity effect. I personally like it, but if you're using the wrong mic you can end up with too much. What mics are you guys using that you don't care for the proximity effect?

As for reflections off a music stand, I do a lot of voice over recording and have a music stand in our coffin/booth for the talent. The booth is very dead and the reflections were a little obvious so I took an old T-shirt and threw it on the stand. Problem solved.

Dave
Old 11th April 2003
  #18
Gear Nut
 
Dynodawg's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
All I know is my Lawson at 4'' can be really muddy if I don't roll anything off. Even rolled off, I still get plenty of proximity effect at that distance. Sometimes I just do a slight dip, no more than [email protected] to remove the mud. As I said, my V76 pre really magnifys the low end.
Dyno
Old 11th April 2003
  #19
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I try and get singers so close to the mic as to be behind it. Sounds a bit roomy though.
Old 13th April 2003
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
"Maybe I need to get out more, but you guys are the first guys I've ever heard who didn't care for proximity effect. I personally like it, but if you're using the wrong mic you can end up with too much. What mics are you guys using that you don't care for the proximity effect?"

Like anything, I like it when it sounds better that way.
If the singer is moving their head around, the proximity effect can do funny things. Whatever sounds best on that voice at that moment.
Old 19th April 2003
  #21
pan
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pan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Variable Pattern

I love the Neumann UM57 - it has a variable pattern so you can play with the proximity effect.
I like the singer to eat the mic and "dial in" the room.

n
Old 20th April 2003
  #22
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Re: Re: Re: Re: Am I the only on who puts vocalists this close to the mic?

Quote:
Originally posted by thethrillfactor
The standing waves created by pop filters to me is too much.

When you take that pop filter away it just opens up the mic.

The problem is if you are working with someone who doesn't have a great mic technique, than you are screwed.
Damn thrill once again you got me thinking about my recording technix
I by default use a filter cause most of the time I get too many plosives but I guess that's still no reason to do that by default but to be honest many times I get 10 minutes to record a vocal soo...
On another note I like omni too but got to be careful cause of my room and quite often I like proximity, question:
Your using really superduper vintage mics right? Is the amek the pre of choice and this is to Protools right?
Lastly how big is the tracking room and what do you think of the asc stuff? toobtraps? Now I've gotta go sing somethingstike
daniel
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